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This morning, Chris Mannix published a story alleging more questionable behavior by the Memphis Grizzlies owner, Robert Pera. In particular, the story suggests that the reason Pera first considered firing Dave Joerger was Joerger’s interference with Pera’s planned one-on-one matchup with Tony Allen.

Image: Grizzlies.com

Image: Grizzlies.com

The genesis of the Joerger-Pera problems, according to league sources, dates back to last September. Pera — who fancies himself a pretty good player — challenged Tony Allen to a game of one-on-one. Allen, on Twitter, accepted. Pera, a Silicon Valley billionaire who bought a small controlling interest in the Grizzlies in 2012, poured tens of thousands of dollars into producing the matchup. He invited the media and instructed the public relations staff to issue a press release promoting the event.

The problem? Allen had lost interest. Joerger, a first-year head coach, didn’t like the idea of the game — like many in the organization he found it goofy and unbecoming of a professional team, according to sources — but it was Allen’s indifference that caused it to be called off. Yet Pera directed his frustration at Joerger and, according to a source, directed upper management to fire him.

Said a source familiar with the situation, “He absolutely wanted Dave out.”

Apparently, this was only the start. Pera also allegedly wanted Joerger fired after the team’s 2-3 start. 

It was the first of several early season clashes between Joerger and Pera. When the Grizzlies opened the season 2-3 — including double-digit defeats to Dallas and New Orleans — Pera flew to Memphis and held individual meetings with players, sources say. He began offering bizarre suggestions. He suggested Mike Miller, a longtime Grizzlies player who was re-signed in the offseason, could become a player-coach. He brought up the idea that Joerger could wear an NFL-style headset and take instructions on the sideline. When the Grizzlies faced Golden State in early November, Pera insisted that Joerger give significant minutes to fourth-year power forward Ed Davis. Davis played just one. Again, according to sources, Pera insisted that Joerger had to go. Only after it was explained how dysfunctional the franchise would look if it fired a first year head coach six games into the season did Pera back down.

In particular, twitter was set ablaze by the suggestion that Joerger wear an NFL-style headset. That, as many pointed out, would be crazy.

Once again, Grizzlies fans were confronted with bizarre and outrageous conduct attributed to their owner, of whom they heard very little for the prior 21-months. As I pointed out last week, one should consider the likely source of such…”information”…before jumping to conclusions. Well, apparently Robert Pera has taken to Twitter once again in an effort to clear the air, specifically questioning Mannix’s work.

As Matt Moore pointed out, you really have to feel for the Grizzlies PR folks, who have had even less rest than us fan bloggers!

Robert Pera is Joe Friday. Dig that.

Jack-Webb-Just-The-Facts-Man-Large

 

Needless to say, keep it tuned right here to 3 Shades of Blue for more as this story continues to…be amazing!

@jmay11

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7 Responses to SI’s Mannix Reports, Pera Questions Report

  1. […] wanted Dave out." It was the first of several early season clashes between Joerger …SI's Mannix Reports, Pera Questions Report3 Shades of BlueReport: Robert Pera orchestrated one-on-one game with Tony Allen, wanted to […]

  2. gldfldNo Gravatar says:

    This guy is not a journalist, he’s a gossip Hound. He takes unsubstantiated rumors and passes them on. A real journalist gathers his own information, separates facts from rumor, and writes originaL copy. There are lots of unknowns in this story, and it makes it hard to write about it,but to pass on Gossip just to fill space is shameful.

  3. […] Robert Pera orchestrated one-on-one game with Tony Allen, wanted to …NBCSports.comSI's Mannix Reports, Pera Questions Report3 Shades of […]

  4. […] talker: Dave Joerger and his crazy situation in MemphisMinneapolis Star Tribune (blog)SI's Mannix Reports, Pera Questions Report3 Shades of […]

  5. […] wanted Dave out." Oh, but it gets better. It was the first of several early season …SI's Mannix Reports, Pera Questions Report3 Shades of BlueGrizzlies' Robert Pera refutes report team is in […]

  6. […] wanted Dave out." It was the first of several early season clashes between Joerger …SI's Mannix Reports, Pera Questions Report3 Shades of […]

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